ISLAMABAD - Six militants attacked an air force training base in the central Pakistani area of Mianwali on Saturday morning damaging three aircraft, the country's military said.

Three militants were killed before they entered the base and the other three had been cornered, the military said in a statement, adding that three grounded aircraft and a fuel tanker had been damaged thus far in the attack.

"Due to the swift and effective response by the troops, (the attack) has been foiled and thwarted, ensuring the safety and security of personnel and assets," the statement said.

The military said an operation is underway to clear the area, and did not mention any casualties amongst security personnel.

Islamist militant group Tehreek-e-Jihad Pakistan (TJP) claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement sent to journalists by its spokesperson.

TJP came to the fore only this year and little is known about the group, which has carried out a string of high-profile attacks in the country, including killing 12 soldiers at a Pakistani military base in the southwestern province of Balochistan in July.

(Reporting by Gibran Peshimam; Editing by William Mallard and Jamie Freed)